CTF, Monterey County Sheriff partner for forensic training

Photos, story by Officer David J. Doglietto
Correctional Training Facility

It was no April Fool’s joke when skeletons were buried on the grounds of the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad on April 1. The bone-burying activity was actually in preparation for a four-day forensics training session, attracting law enforcement personnel from across the country.

Partnering with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, CTF co-hosted a forensic buried bodies and surface skeleton class from July 20-24.

Criminalist Jan Johnson, CSCSA, of Forensic Pieces from Pensacola, Florida, was invited to instruct 19 detectives and crime scene investigators from agencies as far away as Oregon and Connecticut.

After two days of lecture at the Sheriff’s Office, students spent two days  excavating forensic skeletons which had been buried near the prison’s range since April 1.

“This comprehensive 40-hour course is designed for crime scene investigators, detectives, crime laboratory analysts and others in the field of forensic science,” according to course literature.

Course topics included planning and management for mass grave sites, scene security and search techniques, excavation techniques  for the collection and preservation of remains, victim identification, time of death estimation, cause of death determination, crime scene documentation using photography and video, note taking, report writing and expert testimony.

Law enforcement personnel participated from the Connecticut State Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon) and California agencies such as Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, San Jose Police Department, El Cajon Police Department and CTF.